Leading chance for top stable

By Duane Ranger

Elisaveta can win the $10,000 Woodlands Stud Breeders Stakes on the New Plymouth grass today.

In fact co-trainer Peter Blanchard rated the five-year-old mare as one of his best winning chances on the second day of the two-day meeting.

Elisaveta was one of three horses from the Graeme Rogerson and Blanchard stable to finish second on Tuesday. Their only winner came via Change Gear, who will contest tomorrow’s feature event - the $12,000 Revital Fertilisers Taranaki Cup.

“Elisaveta has come through Tuesday’s race really well and is ideally drawn in the Breeders Stakes. She would be our best winning chance on the day. Her and Wise Goddess in race three,” Blanchard said.

Elisaveta was a beaten favourite on the first day when going down by 1-3/4 lengths to second favourite Shestherealdeal. Elisaveta has the ideal three draw on Thursday, while Shestherealdeal will compete in the Taranaki Cup.

“She’s eaten up everything and looks as bright as a button. She’s the sort of horse who backs up well so we are confident of a bold showing. It would be a good race to win. It has a really nice stake,” Blanchard said.

The Grinfromeartoear brown mare has never been out of the money in six starts on the grass, winning three times and placing three times. She has also won one and placed once from two starts at New Plymouth.

Overall she has raced 37 times for three wins, eight seconds, eight thirds and just under $30,000 in purses.

Elisaveta was settled in the one-one early on Tuesday by Brent Mangos before taking over the pace-makers role at the 800m. She was overtaken by Shestherealdeal in the straight but stuck on well for second.

Shestherealdeal paced the 1750m mobile in 2:18.4 (mile rate 2:07.2) with final 800m and 400m sprints of 63.4 and 28.9.

Elisaveta will race over the 1750m mobile again while Shestherealdeal will be stepping up to a 2600m mobile in the Cup. She will be attempting to win her fourth straight race at New Plymouth.

Change Gear went slightly quicker (2:17 even) than Shestherealdeal on the first day, and Blanchard thinks the 7-year-old Christian Cullen gelding may have his work cut out to make it two straight.

 “He’s a really nice horse who has won nine races now. He loves the grass but tomorrow’s field is much stronger and bigger. He’s also drawn 13 of 13 which will make it tough,” said Blanchard.

Change Gear has won seven races on the grass and has a two from three winning record at New Plymouth. He placed in his other start on the track

Recent workout winner Vibhuti resumes from a four month spell in the Cup and will be hard to roll from the ace draw, as will Styx It To Em (4), Darcee (5), and Gwendene (10).